Matthew Waldman is a New York based artist and designer most prominently known for creating NOOKA Inc., a lab dedicated to exploring universal communication via form, language and fashion. Founded in 2004 and best known for their patented timepieces, NOOKA continues to provocate deeper thought on fashion and everyday objects. He also happens to be a FoundersCard Member, so we’d like to introduce him with ten questions.
1. What inspired you to start your company?
The explosion of the web caused a change in design being weighted more towards intuitive processes and less towards aesthetics – I wanted to bring the revolution of interface design to lifestyle. this and my obsession with universal language inspired me to start NOOKA.
2. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
It was from an illustrator and friend who told me what I think may be a buddhist quote: misery is easy, happiness is hard work. discussing what this meant really set off a series of epiphanies that allowed me to understand a lot about my psychology. unfortunately for me, I haven’t been doing a very good job applying the knowledge as well as I should.
3. What is the one book you recommend to everyone?
In general, it is HYPERSPACE by michio kaku. for prospective employees, I require them to read Outliers: the story of success by Malcolm Gladwell.
4. What is the hardest part about your job?
I think all design/creative entrepreneurs will agree, business is the hardest part of my job. I just want to design and create!
5. What is the most played song on your iPod?
I am such a voracious consumer of new music, that very little gets played often enough to stand out. If I had to pick a band that I go back to often is midnight juggernauts [all of their stuff] and I wait for them to release something new for me to listen to! More recent obsessions are: grimes, the necessaries and TEEEL.
6. How many days a month (or year) do you spend traveling?
I average about 2 months a year. used to be 3, but the economy is not cooperating with me.
7. Prior to your current success, what was the worst job you ever had?
I can’t say any “job” was ever bad, as I learn from all experiences. Rather I’ve had horrible situations because of the boss. The one that stands out in my mind is an internship I did at a Japanese ad agency in Tokyo when I was 21 years old. My boss then was quite mean and really rode me hard because I was a foreigner and the only boy in the studio. Honestly, it was a sobering and edifying experience, though in the end, I quit and found a wonderful position in another studio as it was an asset being a bilingual designer in bubble-era Tokyo.
8. Whom do you admire?
Pierre Cardin, Andres Courreges, Yohji Yamamoto, Steve Jobs, Yves Behar…
9. What is one app that FoundersCard members should be using right now?
The NOOKA app! it can turn your phone into a cool desk clock while you charge!
10. Give us your best plug/brag a little about as to what you’re working on now/next?
I’ve been working on a collection of shoes for FILA in China which is very exciting for me. It will be the FILA X NOOKA by Matthew Waldman collection. I just released a new design in my line of sunglasses called the FUTURIST, check em out! I’m also working on moving some of our production to the USA for a special project with MoMA – always lots of stuff!
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